February has been an incredibe month for my solar imaging “evolution” under every aspect: technical, processing and post-processing and knowledge.
By a technical point of view I passed from a simple single stack Coronado PST, to a stage 1 Coronado PST mod by using a Vixen A80M stacked to PST’s blackbox, to a stage PST mod by using only the etalon and the BF5 from the original PST on the Vixen refractor.
On the processing/post-processing side I discovered AutoStakkert2! and most important I improved my post-processing techniques by not using the wavelets anymore and using Smart Sharpen, Unsharp Mask and Highpass filtering.
The improvements are much more than I expected. You can easily find them by looking at the images that I posted at the beginning of the month and the last ones.
I also started to so somewhile light imaging at the beginning with the Vixen A80M and now with the Celestron Omni XLT 120. Not much but the use ofthe Herschel wedge is giving me the chance to do some better that expected image in white light as well. I love my Herschel wedges 🙂 Unforunately I’m not using it as much as I expected due to the limited time I can spend recording videos.
There’s still room from improvement.
In March I want to start doing some CaK imaging as well, improve the performances of the H-Alpha setup by using some additional HA filter and/or using the 120, start using the white light setup more often.
I just started converting hoe to turn the Celestron Omni 120 XLT into an H-Alpha scope reducing a little the opening to make it a 10 focal ratio. I think I already have everything I need to do that without any addition piece. Maybe the only one I’ll need is a new adapter for the end of the tube. Not sure as the Omni has a loooot of back focus. Maybe enough to use the original focuser with it. But I’ll write more about it in the coming days.